Cities are urging MEPs to act now to avoid another emissions scandal. Their call comes ahead of a vote on the EU’s Type Approval Framework Regulation set to take place in the European Parliament’s internal market (IMCO) committee on 26 January. This framework is intended to ensure all vehicles circulating on Europe’s roads meet environmental and other regulatory requirements.
Speaking at an event in Parliament on 10 January organized by EUROCITIES, Transport & Environment and BEUC, the European consumers’ organization, Shirley Rodrigues, London’s deputy mayor for environment and energy, said: “The current emission testing system is clearly failing. To help clean up our toxic air the EU needs rigorously to overhaul procedures and insist cars comply with legal limits. Following the Volkswagen scandal we need a more robust and independent testing regime involving regular spot checks on cars and major fines for manufacturers who cheat.
"As cities, we can only take effective action against our filthy air if the EU and member states support us with strong legislation. This will help rebuild public trust in euro standards and tackle the air pollution health crisis.”
Air pollution is Europe’s biggest environmental health challenge, contributing to more than 400,000 deaths each year. Cities are heavily dependent on EU and national legislation to improve local air quality.
Christophe Najdovski, deputy mayor of Paris responsible for transport and public space, said: “Our efforts to clean up local air risk being undermined by inadequate EU legislation. We joined 19 other cities in taking the Commission to court last year over the relaxation of emissions standards. We can’t do this alone: EU laws need to be stricter if we are serious about tackling air pollution in our cities.”
The overhaul of the Type Approval Framework announced by the Commission in January 2016 is an opportunity to enforce tighter controls on vehicle emissions and ensure all cars circulating in cities comply with legal limits.
Under current rules, national authorities alone are responsible for certifying a vehicle meets all requirements to be placed on the market and for policing manufacturers’ compliance with the law. Under the new proposals, vehicle testing will become more independent and there will be greater surveillance of vehicles already in circulation.
EUROCITIES is urging the Commission to take a stronger role in overseeing the system. Recent legal action by the Commission against member states for failing to stop carmakers from cheating is a positive sign, but we can’t afford to endure lengthy legal battles to provide citizens with the clean air they deserve.
Powering a climate-neutral economy: Commission sets out plans for the energy system of the future and clean hydrogen, and launches the #EuropeanCleanHydrogenAlliance
To become climate-neutral by 2050, Europe needs to transform its energy system, which accounts for 75% of the EU’s greenhouse gas emissions. The EU strategies for energy system integration and hydrogen, adopted today (8 July), will pave the way towards a more efficient and interconnected energy sector, driven by the twin goals of a cleaner planet and a stronger economy.
The two strategies present a new clean energy investment agenda, in line with the Commission’s Next Generation EU recovery package and the European Green Deal. The planned investments have the potential to stimulate the economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis. They create European jobs and boost our leadership and competitiveness in strategic industries, which are crucial to Europe’s resilience.
To help deliver on this Strategy, the Commission is launching today the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance with industry leaders, civil society, national and regional ministers and the European Investment Bank. The Alliance will build up an investment pipeline for scaled-up production and will support demand for clean hydrogen in the EU. The alliance will be built on the principles of cooperation, inclusiveness and transparency. The focus of the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance is on renewable hydrogen, complemented during a transition period by low-carbon hydrogen with very ambitious CO2 emission reductions compared to fossil-based hydrogen.The European Clean Hydrogen Alliance launch event will be live streamed here at 16h00.
- Press release
- Q&A on the EU Energy System Integration Strategy
- Q&A on the EU Hydrogen Strategy
- Factsheets on the EU Energy System Integration Strategy, the EU Hydrogen Strategy and the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance
- Videos on the EU Energy System Integration and EU Hydrogen Strategy
Follow the press conference by Executive Vice-President for the European Green Deal Timmermans and Commissioner for Energy Simson live on EbS.
50 airports now #CarbonNeutral in Europe
Clarkson calls eco warrior #GretaThunberg 'spoilt brat'
Jeremy Clarkson (pictured) has weighed into eco-activist Greta Thunberg, calling her a “spoilt brat”.
Greta, 16, told the United Nations her childhood had been ruined by global changing.
She said: “I shouldn’t be up here. I should be back in school on the other side of the ocean.
“Yet you all come to us for hope.
“How dare you.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words.”
Clarkson said: “How dare you sail to America on a carbon fibre yacht that you didn’t build which cost £15million, that you didn’t earn, and which has a back-up diesel engine that you didn’t mention.
“We gave you mobile phones and laptops and the internet.
“We created the social media you use every day and we run the banks that pay for it all.
“So how dare you stand there and lecture us, you spoilt brat.”
He claimed science will solve the earth’s problem “not scowling and having screaming ab-dabs every five minutes”.
He concluded: “So be a good girl, shut up and let them get on with it.”
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